DC Cancels Vertigo

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Ares
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DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Ares » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:24 am

https://nerdist.com/article/dc-comics-c ... -zoom-ink/
After 26 years of doling out so-called “edgier” and more adult-oriented material under the larger umbrella of DC Comics, the Vertigo imprint is now shutting its doors, per a statement from DC Editor in Chief Dan DiDio (via The Hollywood Reporter). DC Entertainment announced on June 21 that it will be closing down Vertigo by January 2020. Likewise to shutter will be the YA-inclined brands DC Zoom and DC Ink. As for the fate of the comics released beneath the Vertigo banner, some will fold into the larger DC brand, while others will phase out altogether.

Accompanying the revelation of these reductions is the announcement of a few new members of the DC family, likewise how DC will distribute its material going forward across said new and existing subsets. The company is introducing DC Kids, aimed at readers aged 8 through 12. As such, it will shift the focus of its simply named DC banner to 13-and-above readership, and will sustain DC Black Label as the primary home for ostensibly mature content, i.e. material for adult readership.

DiDio’s statement reads as such:

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material. That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”

The past decade has seen Vertigo meet with some unrest; founding figure Karen Berger left Vertigo in 2013; five years later, the imprint was rebranded as DC Vertigo.

Though the explicit fate of the greater mass of the imprint’s material is yet to be disclosed, readers might be pleased to find some Vertigo titles transferred to Black Label, as the company has insinuated the intention to keep popular titles alive. How the shift will affect the material, if at all, is also yet to be determined.
I've heard other places claim that this is primarily to avoid brand confusion and to more accurately consolidate their various IPs.

Which is a very funny way of saying that "we hired the worst people possible to relaunch this brand on its 25th anniversary and through sheer incompetence they managed to kill a once widely respected brand".

I agree with Dan DiDio on one thing tho. Under his leadership DC has certainly become "edgier" to the point that the mainstream DCU now more closely resembles Vertigo, and not the good parts.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Darrin Kelley » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 am

There were good parts of Vertigo? Since when? It was the bastion of boutique comics that would have never gotten any support any place else. And frankly, Vertigo's existence had been nothing but to DC's detriment. Sucking off resources desperately needed to improve the quality of the main line.

It produced a minimal amount of hits over the years. And squandered resources by publishing a majority of books didn't sell.

Good Riddance!

Chris Brady
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Chris Brady » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:35 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 am
There were good parts of Vertigo? Since when? It was the bastion of boutique comics that would have never gotten any support any place else. And frankly, Vertigo's existence had been nothing but to DC's detriment. Sucking off resources desperately needed to improve the quality of the main line.

It produced a minimal amount of hits over the years. And squandered resources by publishing a majority of books didn't sell.

Good Riddance!
When they fired Karen Berger, back in the day, the crew she brought went with her, and they continued to make their 'boutique' comics for decades after in other places, like IDW, Dark Horse and Dynamite. Neil Gaiman, for example, is still a household name and kept getting work. People still know of Preacher. The latest Vertigo relaunch on the other hand is the same toned deaf desperation to look for a new audience and latching on to the loudest voices, thinking that they actually buy stuff, which they don't.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Darrin Kelley » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:45 am

Dynamite: The boutique books didn't sell.

IDW: The boutique books didn't sell.

Dark Horse: The boutique books didn't sell.

That's four different publishers (including DC) where the majority of those boutique books didn't sell.

You mentioned Gaiman's books and Preacher. Again. Only a couple of successes there out of decades of output from Vertigo. Where resources constantly were squandered in pursuit of a majority of that output that didn't sell. That's not a legacy to be proud of. That's a legacy with most of that output ending up trashed and forgotten.

The majority of comics critics don't buy comics. They get them complimentary. And are paid for their reviews. And Vertigo has been riding on the backs of critics paid by the books publishers almost since the outset. Those critics do nothing but collect a fat paycheck from the comics companies themselves.

The only reviewers I trust when it comes to comics are those who are independant. Those who aren't paid by the comics publishers for their praise.

Payola used to be illegal in the United States.

greycrusader
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by greycrusader » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:56 pm

Vertigo actually produced a fair number of successful titles. First, there were the DC properties which began outside Vertigo but actually were the reason the imprint was created-Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Grant Morrison's Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Arguably not "boutique books", given they predated the line. But you cannot really discount 100 Bullets, Astro City, Books of Magic, Fables, Hellblazer, The Invisibles, Preacher, Sandman (and the spin-offs, Death: The High Cost of Living, Thessaly, and the long-running Lucifer and Sandman: Mystery Theater), Transmetropolitan, Y: The Last Man, and a few others.

However, the point about the line essentially beginning to fade-and fail-after Karen Berger's departure is mostly on the nose. I honestly cannot remember when the line had an actual hit/breakout book (in the context of being a niche property-Vertigo never sold like Batman or JLA); a handful that were TALKED about a lot on comics sites, but nothing that resonated with readers or even broader pop culture.

All my best.

Chris Brady
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Chris Brady » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:56 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:45 am
Dynamite: The boutique books didn't sell.

IDW: The boutique books didn't sell.

Dark Horse: The boutique books didn't sell.
If they didn't sell, these companies would have been out of business decades ago. Dark Horse is nothing BUT boutique books, they have almost no original properties, they specialize in those types of properties.

It's clear that you have some sort of agenda here, Darrin, so most of your information seems rather suspect.

The problem with Modern Vertigo is the same as what's happening with Marvel. They are still trying to go for an audience that doesn't buy comic books. Or much of anything else.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:57 pm

Chris Brady wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:56 pm
If they didn't sell, these companies would have been out of business decades ago. Dark Horse is nothing BUT boutique books, they have almost no original properties, they specialize in those types of properties.
Actually. Dark Horse. Dynamite, and IDW make the bulk of their money from licensed properties. The boutique books are a minor sideline at best. They never have and never will pay their publishers bills.
It's clear that you have some sort of agenda here, Darrin, so most of your information seems rather suspect.
Actually, it's intimate knowledge of the comic book industry. i also happened to have spent a great number of years associated with Mike Richardson. Who happens to own Dark Horse Comics. I went to the comic book store routinely that happens to be right across from Dark Horse HQ in Milkwaukee, Oregon. And talking with Mike and many of the other people who worked for him gave me a crash course in how the comic book industry works.

My only agenda here is to present an honest point of view of industry practices and the absolute corruption that has developed with the bigger companies.

The boutique books term I use has a very thin definition to it. It comes from the 1970s. And it describes a certain subset of comic books that you could only find in boutiques. Because they simply were never commercailly viable elsewhere. They were so fringe that big publishers would never even consider them at that time.

Vertigo has always been a boutique imprint. One that got stupid amounts of money put behind it to publicize it over DC's other books. Professional critics were paid to hype those books by DC. And they got dead silence from independant reviewers.
The problem with Modern Vertigo is the same as what's happening with Marvel. They are still trying to go for an audience that doesn't buy comic books. Or much of anything else.
The problem with Vertigo was pretty simple. The cost of the hype always far outstripped the actual sales of the books. Vertigo was a money-pit.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:17 pm

greycrusader wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:56 pm
Astro City
Astro City was never a Vertigo title.

Chris Brady
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Chris Brady » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:56 am

By that definition, Darrin, every single comic in print right now is a 'Boutique' as only specialty shops carry them. In fact, they've all been since the 90's, when newsstand copies started to wane. Comic book shops ARE the specialty shops.

Jabroniville
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:32 am

Darrin Kelley wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:17 pm
greycrusader wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:56 pm
Astro City
Astro City was never a Vertigo title.
I believe it is now. They switched from wherever they were before.

greycrusader
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Re: DC Cancels Vertigo

Post by greycrusader » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:14 am

The third volume (which concluded recently) was under the Vertigo imprint.

All my best.

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